To Get Started
There are different kinds of tests.
Some are taken to demonstrate a level of proficiency. Others are taken to demonstrate something to ourselves.
It’s this 2nd test I want to blog about.
To Gain Perspective
In 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote about them needing to examine themselves. This was a test, a discernment of their faith. He said, “Test yourselves, to see if you are of the faith.”
He gave them the same test in I Corinthians 11. He told them to examine themselves before taking communion. Why did he do that?
Was There A Problem?
The problem was that the church in Corinth suffered from three types of division. They are as follows:
- Men/Personalities: “Im of Paul, of Apollos, of Cephas…”
- Spiritual Gifts: those with “greater” gifts were the “greater” christians.
- Economics: those with money discriminated against the poor.
It was the division over economics that caused Paul to write about self-examination.
In Corinth, on the first day of the week, the wealthy gathered early to eat together. Arriving early was about not having to share. When everyone else arrived for the time of worship, they realized the rich had already eaten together and did so to avoid sharing. Paul rebuked them and said their assemblies did more harm than good.
To drive his point home, Paul used the communion meal as an illustration. He said partaking in the body and blood of Jesus was an expression of unity and harmony. To have any division, any discrimination, was injury against Christ, since each believer was a member of the body.
So Paul told them to test themselves, to see if their hearts were right. Their meetings should be edifying and a glory to Christ, not debilitating and discouraging.
Spiritually, some of them were weak, sick, and dying. These were references to their relationship with God and with each other. Why were they dying? They were hurting the body of Christ, and they were hurting Christ. They were consuming judgment and wrath.
I shouldn’t be taking communion if I am in division within my church.
Self-examination is a test. I get honest with who and what I am. If there is business to be done with God, or with a fellow believer, then I need to get busy.
Taking the bread of Christ with an unexamined heart could be spiritual suicide.
It’s more than a good idea. It may just save your life.